Right now, we're living in a dating apps and a 'swipe right" culture, which has many putting looks first. Katia Loisel's experience and research reveals couples who have their admin and finances in-check are more often the ones who enjoy a truly meaningful and long-lasting relationship!
This view is echoed by research from Relationships Australia showing almost nine in 10 people say financial problems cause stress and are likely to push relationships apart.
While having Life Insurance may not seem like the sexiest thing in a relationship, it's one of those admin tasks that shows great love and commitment!
Katia Loisel is an internationally renowned dating, relationship and body language expert with more than two decades of experience. Vivacious and passionate, she is dedicated to helping people understand and improve their dating, love lives and relationships. Katia is the founder of The Love Destination, has authored a book on relationships and has published a five-year global study into dating patterns. Katia also produced a "How To" series that received over 12 million views on YouTube alone.
Katia Loisel is working alongside ANZ on their Love Insurance campaign campaign during the month of April. Love Insurance helps put into perspective that we all want to look after our loved ones and life insurance is a way of showing you'll be there for your loved ones.
Question: What do you mean abs are not the key to a great relationship?
Katia Loisel: We've become a 'swipe right" culture " a society addicted to instant gratification and attraction " focused on 'macro" qualities like physical attraction.
We live in a world where we want and expect everything at our fingertips " movies, dates, music " and you name it you can have it, right now. But love doesn't work like that.
Social media gives us an ego boost temporarily, basing a relationship on attraction and physical qualities is not supportive of a long-term romance.
Many people mistake lust and attraction for love, and this is why I'm working alongside ANZ on their Love Insurance campaign as we really want to her the admin-types, the people who have their 'life admin" in order as being the true romantics! These people who are focused on the smaller things in life, like for example having life insurance in check, are creating a solid and secure future for their families " which is really an ultimate act of love.
Question: What is the key to a great relationship?
Katia Loisel: Relationships take work and are built through a constant investment in and commitment to your partner and the relationship. Remember, the glue that holds a relationship together isn't looks. It is shared values, goals and interests, open communication, honesty, kindness and understanding.
Question: How can we approach the admin and finance discussion in the honeymoon, stage?
Katia Loisel: Bringing up finances in the first couple of dates is a little soon, but it is important to start introducing money discussions relatively early on " particularly as the level of emotional intimacy increases. This will ensure you are on the same page and avoiding conflict.
You can start with discussions around finances, such as:
What does money mean to your partner?
For example, it may give them a sense of freedom or long-term security.
What is your partner's greatest financial worry?
If your partner a spender or a saver?
What is your partner's financial goals?
For example, a partner concerned with security might be looking to purchase an investment item, like a house or shares, whereas a partner who cares about freedom might be looking to save for a holiday escape!
How important to your partner is having emergency savings and paying off debt?
What is your partner's view on joint finances?
Question: What finance and admin questions need to be answered prior to a life-long commitment?
Katia Loisel: I like to call this period the 'nesting" periods as it the commitment phase often where finances are pooled. To increase financial harmony and reduce conflict and stress it is important you communicate honestly about your financial expectations.
In the nesting period, you can ask:
How do you feel about shared financial roles?
What are your, and your partner's, financial concerns?
How will you split the finance roles?
For example, this might include bill paying, budgeting and long-term planning.
Will the finances be pooled? If so how will you negotiate spending and saving?
Question: Why are admin and finances the key to a long-lasting relationship?
Katia Loisel: Money is an important influencer on relationships " yet many couples skirt around the topic. And so as part of my work with ANZ Love Insurance I'm looking to bring these topics to the forefront of relationship conversations!
While life admin may not seem sexy, talking finances and taking care of financial matters as a couple sets clear goals and helps clarify a couple's financial values, future dreams and aspirations.
A study published in Marriage & Family Review found shared financial goals and values and financial role satisfaction had a significant impact on relationship satisfaction. In fact, the study found that sharing financial goals and values was even more important than the communication strategies couples used during conflict.
Question: What type of financial problems usually breaks a relationship?
Katia Loisel: Research shows arguments over money are one of main predictors of divorce.
However, not all fights about money are equal. Breaches of trust such as hiding debts, over spending, buying big ticket items without consulting your partner and behaviour that damages your partner's credit rating are the most damaging. Failure to figure the details of your financial roles and plan for the future can also break the relationship.
Question: How is the internet and dating app impacting relationships?
Katia Loisel: As geographical boundaries dissolve and our dating pool gets wider, more relationships are becoming established online or through text before a couple has met face-to-face. This is why it's never been more important to have conversations about values, beliefs, expectations and money early on.
It's also important to be aware of the effect that dating apps can have on attraction. 'Swipe right" dating apps work a bit like online gaming " stimulating the dopamine centre of our brain associated with pleasure, reward and addiction, giving us a dopamine hit or high every time we get a match.
Dating becomes a game and in the whirl of matches and messages we can 'forget" to ask the important questions. Remember to focus on the important things and use the same criteria as you would offline.
Question: Can you share your top tips to ensure financial fitness in a relationship?
Katia Loisel: Connecting with your partner and creating financial harmony is all down to communication, kindness and understanding. It is all about working together as a team.
Some of my top tips for maintaining financial fitness in a relationship include:
Be open and honest with your spending style and financial values early on
Put yourself in your partner's shoes and try to understand and acknowledge their spending style and the emotional reason behind it
Work as a team
Keep it positive and don't make it personal
Plan for the long-term, ensure your retirement and life insurance are in place
Set mutual financial goals
Decide when you need to check-in with each other
Be prepared to compromise
Put a savings plan in place so that you're prepared for any unforeseen bills
Question: Why should we all have Life Insurance?
Katia Loisel: Life insurance isn't the most romantic topic! But looking out for your partner and family's long-term needs and financial security reduces stress and shows that you'll love and care for them no matter the circumstances.
Interview by Brooke Hunter